See proposed rule
language (CR-103)
2013 Recreational Fishing Rules Concise Explanatory Statement
Fish & Wildlife Commission
Meeting Feb. 8-9, 2013

2013 – 2014 Sportfishing Rule Proposals – Briefing and Public Hearing. Audio available.

Sportfishing Rule Changes for 2013-2014

Sportfishing Rule Proposals & Comments

View proposals and comments on proposals that were submitted by the public and WDFW staff.
There are two types of rules available for viewing.

for Public Comment
Not Recommended
for further consideration
View by Category
Statewide Coastal Region
Puget Sound
Region Freshwater
Coastal Region
Puget Sound
Region Marine
Eastern Washington and
Columbia Region Freshwater

Reference ID: DFW663358

Original Rule Proposal     See comments

Reference ID: DFW663358
Recreational Opportunities      Submission Type: Public
Rules Category:
Puget Sound Region Marine
Species covered in proposed rule
 • Steelhead
Rule to Change:
Willapa River closes to steelhead fishing March 31.
New Rule Proposal:
Keep Willapa River open to steelhead fishing till April 15.
Why the change is needed:
There is not a significant mortality with small river tactics this time of year on the Willapa River native steelhead. The river has the largest number of steelhead in the system at the close and can provide a wonderful recreational catch and release fishery with minimal impact.
Names of individuals or groups with whom you have discussed this change:
Cody Duncan, Isaac Fu, Joe Townley, Tyler Duncan, Jim Jansen, Rich Hilliker, and Jacob Waunch.
Describe their support and/or concerns:
No input given

Date submitted: 05/11/2012

WDFW Rule Proposal Recommendation

Not Recommended for further consideration     Reference ID: DFW663358

The escapement trend of Willapa Bay, and the Willapa River, steelhead during the past ten years is declining. Extending a season is not a conservative management decision for a declining population.

Online Public Comments    (2 comments)

PORTMANN, CHRIS   October 31, 2012
Several empirical studies indicate that there is considerable mortality with catch and release fishing. The wild run on this river is already in danger and extending the season would only exacerbate the damage. Additionally, an open season, with little to no enforcement, would make it very easy for poachers to catch and kill wild fish on this isolated stream. If anything, the Willapa should close on the last day of February like several similar-sized streams in the state.
RINGLEE, CHRISTOPHER D  January 08, 2013
Is the Willapa system wild steelhead still a species of concern requiring a shortened season? This was addressed last year by WDFW in the coastal stream strategy and after a 20 year data set, declaring the Willapa system depressed. Questions arose regarding the original determination of the escapement goals and based off WDFW escapement goals in Willapa Bay, the system should be the most productive area in the state by far. Has any further data been collected or analyzed describing WDFW's stance to the rule proposal and the coastal stream strategy that limits wild steelhead fishing in the basin? I'm a firm supporter of protecting wild steelhead and believe systems should be closed on depressed runs, but nothing has really changed over the entire data set showing a large scale decline and is in fact doing better than systems to the north that allow wild steelhead retention and are considered "HEALTHY" by WDFW.

Other Comments Received